CHICAGO (CBS) — Officials were breaking ground Monday on a new 33,000-square-foot 911 center to handle the bulk of emergency calls in DuPage County.

DuPage Public Safety Communications (DU-COMM), which handles two-thirds of 911 calls for the suburbs in DuPage County, needed more space and improved technology.

“They simply outgrew their facilities,” said Gary Grasso, chairman of the DuPage Emergency Telephone System Board.

The county’s former youth home in Wheaton will get a $16 million renovation and addition to accommodate the move.

“Rather than get into the long-term lease somewhere else, I as chairman brought forth the idea that maybe they could come on campus at DuPage County, and make use of a facility that we weren’t ever going to be able to use again,” he said.

Grasso said DuPage County residents should not notice anything when the 911 center makes the move to the new facility in Fall 2018. If all goes well, when the new DuComm center is completed, it will still seamlessly dispatch police, fire, and emergency medical services agencies for 44 suburbs.

Officials said consolidating suburban 911 operations saves the county about $6.7 million a year.

Two other 911 systems serve DuPage County; Addison’s, which covers 11 police and fire agencies, and the DuPage County Sheriff’s 911 center.

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